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32 new coronavirus cases, 2 additional deaths confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Ontario aiming to vaccine people in age group 80 or older in mid-March' Coronavirus: Ontario aiming to vaccine people in age group 80 or older in mid-March
Retired Gen. Rick Hillier said on Friday that the Ontario vaccine task force is aiming to start vaccinating people in the age group of 80 or older by mid-March, and will start reaching out to people soon. The province has administered over 500,000 doses to date – Feb 19, 2021

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed 32 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths on Friday, bringing the local total number of cases up to 6,099, including 184 deaths.

Nineteen of the new cases are in Barrie, while four are in Bradford, two are in Collingwood, two are in New Tecumseth and two are in Tay Township.

Read more: Roberta Place COVID-19 outbreak declared over

The rest of the new cases are in Huntsville, Springwater and Wasaga Beach.

Eleven of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while five are community-acquired and five are outbreak-related.

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The rest of the new cases are still under investigation.

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On Friday, the health unit reported three new cases of the COVID-19 B1.1.7 variant, which was first discovered in the U.K. and is believed to be up to 70 per cent more contagious than earlier novel coronavirus strains. This brings the total number of B1.1.7 variant cases in the region up to 171.

In addition, 158 people have screened positive for a “variant of concern,” although testing is still underway to determine the exact variant strain.

Read more: Ontario reports 1,150 new coronavirus cases, 47 more deaths

Of the region’s total 6,099 cases, 88.5 per cent — or 5,400 — have recovered, while 22 people remain in hospital.

There are also currently 14 coronavirus outbreaks in the region — at eight institutional settings, four workplaces, one educational setting and one community setting.

On Friday, Ontario reported 1,150 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial total up to 290,771, including 6,820 deaths.

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